Testimonial Tuesday

Working with these people, have been a blessing. They are very persistent on getting things done.. I definitely would recommend this company and their people… – Mary Robinson, Port Angeles, WA

Rising Inflation – The News Stand

Early in the week, investors shifted some assets from stocks to bonds, including mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Comments from President-elect Trump were one reason that investors sold certain stocks. In his first press conference since the election on Wednesday, Trump stated a goal of reducing costs in certain areas such as pharmaceuticals and defense spending. The added demand for MBS from investors caused mortgage rates to decline.
Mortgage rates showed small improvement through most of the week. Friday’s inflation data caused a reversal, however, and mortgage rates ended the week slightly higher.

Wage Inflation Picks Up – The News Stand

Mortgage rates showed some nice improvement following Wednesday’s release of the Fed Minutes. Friday’s key Employment report caused a reversal, however, and mortgage rates ended the week with little change.

From the presidential election until the last few days of the year, the trend in yields was upward, and this kept many potential bond buyers on the sidelines. Buyers finally stepped in at the end of the year and then paused early this week. It appears that they were waiting until a major risk, the Minutes from the December 14 Fed meeting, was out of the way. When there were no surprises in the Minutes, investors felt comfortable purchasing bonds again. The rush to buy intensified on Thursday, pushing mortgage rates to the best levels in a month, but Friday’s economic data halted the rally.

Positive Outlook for Housing – The News Stand ***End of the Year Report***

On Monday, the index revealed that consumers are more confident about their future than at any time in the last 15 years. Low unemployment, rising wages, record stock market values, home price appreciation, and expectations of growth-friendly policies from the Trump administration are contributing factors.

Even though inventories of homes available for sale are at very low levels, home sales are ending 2016 at the highest levels since the 2008 recession, and demand from home buyers remains high. In addition, there is reason to be optimistic that home builders may pick up their pace of construction next year. A December survey of home builders showed a surge in optimism since the election. Single-family housing starts and building permits are near multi-year highs. Confident consumers and home builders are solid reasons to look for continued improvement in housing market activity next year.

Home Sales Rise – The News Stand

This figure is inflated somewhat, though, since sales in November of last year were depressed by the implementation of new closing disclosure requirements. Total inventory of existing homes available for sale fell to a 4-month supply, and it was 9% lower than a year ago. The median existing-home price was 7% higher than a year ago. Since sales of previously owned homes measure closings, the November data was not affected much by the increase in mortgage rates seen since the election.

Fed Projects Faster Pace of Hikes – The News Stand

As widely expected, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. Unfortunately for MBS, Fed officials also raised their outlook for the pace of future rate hikes. They now forecast three rate hikes in 2017, one more than previously projected. The faster pace was viewed as negative for mortgage rates. But why? The purpose for raising the federal funds rate is to keep inflation from rising above the Fed’s target of 2%. This should be a good thing for mortgage rates.

Wednesday’s Fed meeting turned out to be negative for mortgage rates. Recent economic data had little impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week higher.

ECB Scales Back – THE NEWS STAND

Over the past week, volatility in mortgage rates was at the lowest level since the election. The main market mover was the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting. Sunday’s referendum vote in Italy had little impact on U.S. markets, and the U.S. economic data also caused little reaction. While it was another good week for the stock market, mortgage rates ended the week with little change.

The most significant U.S. economic data released over the past week revealed another sign that the economy is ending the year on a stronger note.

Volatile Week – THE NEWS STAND

It was a volatile week for mortgage rates. A wide range of factors, including Italian politics, OPEC, and U.S. economic data, caused significant reactions. The net effect was small, however, and mortgage rates ended the week with little change.

Testimonial Tuesday

We were told that we had to do X, Y and Z while spending thousands of dollars before the local bank would even be able to tell us whether they would offer us a mortgage. To our surprise the mortgages that the bank offered were quite narrowly focused. I wanted to thank you for the work you did in procuring a mortgage for us last fall. It was actually a pleasant experience and we closed more quickly than we could have with the bank. – Greg & Eileen Stone, Sequim

testituesday

Another Rough Week – THE NEWS STAND

It has been another rough week for mortgage rates. Volatility has been high. The market action was driven almost entirely by expected policy changes under the Trump administration. Mortgage rates rose during the week to the highest levels of the year.

Three Central Bank Meetings – The Newsstand

Over the past week, the meeting of the Bank of England and news related to the U.S. election were the main influences on mortgage rates. The U.S. economic data had little impact. The net result was that mortgage rates ended the week a little lower

Testimonial Tuesday

Thanks to Peninsula Mortgage, we have our dream home! I cannot say enough good things about Craig and his team. The consultation, customer service, education I received were top-notch and I ended up with a great mortgage rate and low-down payment loan. Thanks to our detailed and professional pre-approval letter, we were selected in a competitive, multiple offer situation in Seattle (not an easy feat).

The icing on the cake? They were ready to close the loan almost a week early. No matter where you buy or what your situation, I highly recommend Penninsula Mortgage!

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Strength in Europe – The Newsstand

Over the past week, events outside the U.S. caused global bond yields to move higher. The U.S. economic data had little impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week at the highest levels since the middle of June before the UK voted to exit the European Union

The Newsstand- European Banks and Oil

A couple of global events caused a moderate amount of volatility for stocks and bonds over the past week, but the effects were offsetting. The economic data had little impact. As a result, mortgage rates ended the week with little change, remaining near the best levels of the year.

Testimonial Tuesday

We have dealt with other mortgage companies and banks in the past, but Craig made the experience personal and fitted to our needs. If we had a question, we picked up the phone and called and talked to him. Everything was handled by him not a mortgage department. We would highly recommend Peninsula Mortgage to anyone buying a home.
– Mark & Jenny Bullard, Sequim WA

Favorable Fed Meeting – The Newsstand

The housing data released over the past week was mixed. After reaching a multi-year high this summer, sales of previously owned homes in August declined for the second straight month. According to the National Association of Realtors, low levels of inventory are holding back home sales in many regions. Inventories of homes for sale declined 3% from July and were 10% lower than a year ago.

 

Testimonial Tuesday

We were very impressed with Craig’s knowledge and all the staff at Peninsula Mortgage, and how simple they made it for us. Craig stayed in constant contact with us and answered all our telephone calls and questions. My husband and I highly recommend Craig Stevenson and Peninsula Mortgage.
– Joy and Chad Jay.

Disappointing Retail Sales – The Newsstand

It was a volatile week ahead of the Fed meeting on September 21, but there was little net change in mortgage rates. Shifts in expectations for Fed policy were the main influence on stocks and bonds. A wide range of economic data had little impact. Investors see just a small chance that the Fed will raise the federal funds rate at the next meeting on September 21.

Testimonial Tuesday

Peninsula Mortgage is always our first choice. We would recommend them to all of our family and friends.

Very satisfied customers – Willard & Pam Henkes, Port Angeles

Hawkish Comments – The Newsstand

Early in the week, weaker than expected economic data helped mortgage rates improve. Later in the week, however, hawkish comments from the U.S. Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB) had the opposite effect, and mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.

Testimonial Tuesday

Craig Stevenson is very thorough. We are very happy with our experience, working with him. We look forward to using his assistance in the future. Highly recommend him!

-Tom & Sue Renshaw, Sequim WA

Quiet Week – The Newsstand

The housing data released this week revealed mixed results. In July, sales of previously owned homes dropped 3% from the multi-year high seen in June. This was the first monthly decline since February. According to the NAR, rising prices and a lack of inventory are holding back sales activity. By contrast, contracts signed for new homes jumped 12% in July to the highest level since October 2007, far exceeding expectations.

Retail Sales Stall – The Newsstand

The most significant economic report released over the past week, retail sales, fell far short of expectations, which was good for mortgage rates. A decline in bond yields overseas also helped, and mortgage rates ended the week lower.

Job Gains Surge – The Newsstand

Over the past week, two highly anticipated economic events caused significant, but offsetting, reactions for mortgage rates. The negative impact of Friday’s strong Employment report was greater than the positive effect of Thursday’s Bank of England announcement, and mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.

GDP Falls Short – The Newsstand

As expected, the Fed meeting concluded with no change in the federal funds rate. The Fed statement modestly upgraded its assessment of the U.S. economy. In particular, the labor market has “strengthened” and consumer spending has been “growing strongly.” However, the overall tone of the statement was less hawkish than investors had expected, and mortgage rates improved a little after its release.

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